A saw cut with a diamond masonry blade is used to cut under the tile line preserving the pool tile, and then the plaster chipped. Where new tile is being installed, the saw cut is not needed. We will simply set the tile out by about ½ ” inch. The pool is checked for loose plaster by sounding, which determines where we need to remove the “plaster pops” down to the structural shell. We will then bond coat the pool. While bond coat is the preferable way to prep your pool for plaster, sometimes the old surface is in such poor condition that all the old plaster has to be chipped off. This cannot be determined until the pool is empty and inspected. All plaster chips and waste material will be cleaned up and hauled away.

We use air driven hand held chipping tools to remove the existing plaster down in a narrow band or “keyway” under the tile and around all penetrations of the plaster shell. The purpose of this wide groove is to give a nice smooth even transition where the new plaster end at the tile and other in pool fittings. Any other work or improvements to be done on the pool, including transition tile, drains or fitting replacements, should be done prior to the pool being plastered.

When the work is completed we start filling the pool. A protective cloth will be placed on the end of the hose. The pool fill lines should not be used until the water is within 6 inches of where the water comes into the pool. Water must fill continually without interruption. It is preferable, and sometime necessary to fill the pool with water trucks. The water should be shut off when it is in the middle of the tile line. It is important that all irrigation sprinklers that may spray on exposed plaster are turned off during the pool filling sequence. Nothing should be added to the pool until it is finished filling. Nothing should be dragged across the pool surface nor should anyone be allowed to walk on the new plaster while it is filling with water. Once full, the pool is now ready for our start up or “break in” procedures.

Interior Options

The most common and recommended interior surfaces are plaster, quartz, and pebble. Pebble and quartz surfaces were developed as solutions to the shortcomings of plaster. However, neither is perfect and, like most upgrades, they cost slightly more than plaster. Here’s how they compare:


Pool plaster is white cement mixed with marble dust. Typically, we think of pool plaster as the smooth, white plaster surface that turns the water a sparkling blue color when filled. We have compiled a list of positives and negatives of pool plaster below.


  • Various colors
  • Most common pool surface
  • Least expensive


  • Susceptible to staining and bacteria growth due to porous surface
  • More chemical usage (Plaster reacts to water and needs more maintenance to keep water chemically balanced)
  • Shorter lifespan; typically lasts 5-10 years before needing to be replastered


A quartz interior pool surface is actually a plaster surface with quartz aggregate mixed in.


  • Hard material; very durable
  • Non-porous
  • Stain-resistant
  • Longer lifespan; typically last 10-15 years
  • Various color choices


  • More expensive than traditional plaster


A pebble pool surface is a plaster surface with pebble aggregate mixed in. The pebbles actually cover the majority of the surface of the pool.


  • Greatest stain-resistant and durable product in pool surface industry
  • Long lifespan; typically 12-20 years
  • More economical surface to maintain


  • Very costly